– Woody says Thunder forward Kevin Durant should be considered for MVP: “His numbers are ridiculous right now.”
“I’m glad that we don’t play (the Thunder) again this year,” Spoelstra told The Oklahoman. “Give us some time to figure him out. He is so big and skilled and can shoot it over the top of you. Even if you are there, he doesn’t even notice you. When he shoots it like he did (Saturday), it just makes it that much tougher. He has grown a lot. I remember in his rookie year, he was nothing like this.”
– Zaza is back.
– Jamal Crawford is quoted in an MLK Day/NBA piece in the Contra Costa Times:
“For the most part, players of this generation try to treat everyone equal no matter their color or gender. … Try to respect one another. There are still situations in life we can improve on, but overall, I think Dr. King would be proud of how far we’ve come.”
– Pretty ho-hum field announced for the All-Star Slam Dunk competition: Shannon Brown, Nate Robinson, Gerald Wallace plus the winner of a “dunk-in” between DeMar DeRozan and Eric Gordon.
Smoove, slam dunk winner as a rookie in 2005, still says he’s done with it for good. Can’t blame him. He’d rather be an All-Star.
– Fire alarm went off in Philips Arena before the game. Joe Johnson ducked in Woody’s office to see if he should panic. Told that he shouldn’t, J.J. told the coach and reporters: “Y’all gonna burn up by yourself.”
– Super commenter northcyde took issue with my critique of the Hawks’ switching D against the Suns. He (you’re a dude, right?) notes that Steve Nash didn’t get his usual numbers and credits the defensive strategy for that. Says northcyde: “It was a great defensive game plan that will go unnoticed by traditional basketball fans that feel that a guard should always be matched up against a guard.”
Well, I don’t think it always has to be that way, but northcyde make some good points. Props.
– After the Hawks overcame a four-point deficit in the final six seconds against the Suns Friday, the Elias Sports Bureau says the last team to come back from a four-point deficit with six or less to win was the Lakers. The did it with four seconds left against the Heat on Dec. 24.
– I see you are accustomed to an open game thread, so talk amongst yourselves.